IMDb > Performance (1970)
Performance
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Performance (1970) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.1/10   5,512 votes »
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Writer:
Donald Cammell (written by)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Performance on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
4 September 1970 (Finland) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
See them all in a film about fantasy. And reality. Vice. And versa. See more »
Plot:
Chas, a violent and psychotic East London gangster needs a place to lie low after a hit that should never have been carried out... See more » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for BAFTA Film Award. See more »
User Reviews:
Not for everyone but definitely original See more (84 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

James Fox ... Chas

Mick Jagger ... Turner

Anita Pallenberg ... Pherber
Michèle Breton ... Lucy (as Michele Breton)
Ann Sidney ... Dana

John Bindon ... Moody
Stanley Meadows ... Rosebloom
Allan Cuthbertson ... The Lawyer
Anthony Morton ... Dennis (as Antony Morton)
Johnny Shannon ... Harry Flowers

Anthony Valentine ... Joey Maddocks
Kenneth Colley ... Tony Farrell (as Ken Colley)
John Sterland ... The Chauffeur
Laraine Wickens ... Lorraine
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Reg Lye ... Workman (uncredited)

Ian McShane ... Noel - Black Musican (voice) (uncredited)

Billy Murray ... Thug 1 (uncredited)
Anthony Roye ... Fraser (uncredited)

Directed by
Donald Cammell 
Nicolas Roeg 
 
Writing credits
Donald Cammell (written by)

Anita Pallenberg  uncredited

Produced by
David Cammell .... associate producer
Sanford Lieberson .... producer
 
Original Music by
Jack Nitzsche 
 
Cinematography by
Nicolas Roeg (photographed by)
 
Film Editing by
Antony Gibbs 
Brian Smedley-Aston 
Frank Mazzola (uncredited)
Tony Palmer (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
John Clark 
 
Makeup Department
Linda DeVetta .... makeup artist (as Linda De Vetta)
Helen Lennox .... hairdresser
Paul Rabiger .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Kevin Kavanagh .... unit manager
Robert Lynn .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Richard Burge .... assistant director
Peter Jaques .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Christopher Gibbs .... design consultant: Turner's house
Peter Young .... set dresser
 
Sound Department
Ron Barron .... sound recordist
Alan Pattillo .... sound editor
Gerry Humphreys .... dubbing mixer (uncredited)
Gerry Humphreys .... sound re-recording mixer (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Mike Molloy .... camera operator
Paul Borg .... electrician (uncredited)
Peter Hannan .... first assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Deborah Dixon .... costume consultant
Billy Jay .... wardrobe
Emma Porteous .... wardrobe
 
Music Department
Merry Clayton .... music player (as The Merry Clayton Singers)
Ry Cooder .... musician
Amiya Dasgupta .... musician
Lowell George .... musician
Milt Holland .... musician
Bernard Krause .... musician: Moog synthesisor
Randy Newman .... music conductor
Gene Parsons .... musician
Nasser Rastigar-Nejad .... musician: santur
Buffy Sainte-Marie .... music performer (as Buffy Ste. Marie)
Russ Titelman .... musician (as Russel Titelman)
Bobby West .... musician
 
Other crew
Annabel Davis-Goff .... continuity (as Anabelle Davis-Goff)
David Litvinoff .... dialogue coach
David Litvinoff .... technical advisor
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies
  • Vanguard Records  through the courtesy of: Buffy Ste. marie performed musically

Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated R for sexual content, nudity, drug material and some violence
Runtime:
105 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Black and White | Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The film was partly inspired by the writer Jorge Borges (in particular the theme of identity crisis); references to Borges abound, including his portrait near the end of the film.See more »
Quotes:
Turner:Nothing is true, everything is permitted.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Watching the Alien (2003) (V)See more »
Soundtrack:
Poor White Hound DogSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
60 out of 65 people found the following review useful.
Not for everyone but definitely original, 10 February 2006
Author: francois chevallier (francheval@noos.fr) from Paris, France

Here is a movie that cannot be classified in any subcategory. Many viewers of now and then seemed to be disturbed by its lack of evident meaning or message. Starting more or less like a gangster flick, it abruptly turns halfway through into a psychedelic trip, where Mick Jagger appears, in one of his rare screen roles, as a retired rock star.

No doubt, "Performance" doesn't do much effort to be easily understood. If you like stories with a clear plot, well defined characters and a happy ending, then skip this one. In order to enjoy that movie, you should better give up your rationality for a while. There are many interpretations one can have about it, but they will most likely come in the second run. Like a dream, "Performance" is a visual and mental shock where nothing comes as expected, and it lets you wake up dazed and confused by its so peculiar atmosphere.

What I find most puzzling about it is how far ahead of its time this movie was in every aspect. It was shot in 1968, but released only two years later because the distributors were obviously not prepared for this kind of "performance", and had not seen anything alike before. Western society was undergoing incredibly fast and drastic mutations, and the culture shock that happened in those days is at the very heart of the picture. It was "time for a change". Just like the main character, the western world would never be the same again afterwards.

Interesting fact : a mere five years before, the lead actor James Fox had played in "the Servant", a film based on a play by Harold Pinter with a story that has a lot in common with "Performance". "The Servant" appeared highly controversial by then because of its allusions to seedy sex, but it was shot in black and white with very conventional filming, editing and acting, and a very outdated jazzy soundtrack. Hard to believe it takes place in the same city (London) with the same lead actor within just a five year gap.

Nothing about "Performance" is conventional. It takes off immediately into a hectic pace, flashy colors, haunting music, and very graphic sex and violence. The London crime world is photographed with a rare accuracy. Actually, one of the guys playing the gangsters happened to be a real life gangster. Then suddenly, by a random twist of fate, the cockney villain (no heroes here) is propelled into another completely different underground scene, where "nothing is true, everything is permitted". He meets his alter ego as a has-been pop musician living secluded in a red-walled mansion covered with mirrors, together with a duet of intriguing women. Hallucinogenic mushrooms are casually served at breakfast, notions of time and space fade away, while gender, identity and truth get blurred. The two main characters gradually merge together and though both of them seemingly get doomed by their fate in the end, you don't know by then which of them is whom anymore.

I don't know of any other movie where you see a Rolls Royce burning down in an acid bath, gangsters performing a strip-tease show, or a plunging view inside a skull as a bullet is shot through it, least all of them together. Besides, the recurring use of mirrors all throughout the picture, the constant play with colors and the superimposing of faces and images don't have many parallels either in film history.

Of course, if you are a Rolling Stones fan, this movie is a must-see, but then you probably have seen it already. Like the main character, the Rolling Stones began as English street kids, and came to explore a world of sex, drugs and rock&roll where one of them actually lost his life. In "Performance" , an androgynous long-haired Mick Jagger with pouting lips is at the acme of his character, while blond and foxy Anita Pallenberg, who had affairs with three members of the band, and freckled boyish Michèle Breton fit perfectly into the scenery .

If there was to be a "pop-art" movie, that would be it. You may love or hate this film, but for sure, it is daringly creative and experimental, and anything but ordinary. To quote the character played by Jagger : "the only performance that makes it, that really makes it, is the one that achieves madness".

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Performance vs Don't Look Now bondd002
Doesn anyone know... milstar
one of the best british gangster flicks moviedump
US vs UK versions sfleet75
Memo From Turner, dvd vs vhs old_tv_guy
James Fox looks like Christian Bale? itsadingo
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